Ontario reports less than 2,600 new COVID-19 cases, but Pfizer vaccine supply shortage looms

Elisabetta Bianchini
·3 min read

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Ontario reported its lowest COVID-19 case count since Jan. 1, with 2,578 new cases confirmed on Monday, but with only 40,300 tests completed.

This includes 815 new cases in Toronto, 507 in Peel, 151 in York Region, 151 in Niagara and 121 in Hamilton.

The test positivity in the province is 6.6 per cent on Monday, up from 5.2 per cent on Sunday but down from 7.7 per cent a week earlier.

Ontario has currently confirmed 15 cases of the COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the U.K., most recently a case in London, with no direct link to travel.

On Sunday, 60,183 COVID-19 tests were completed in the province, down from over 70,000 tests completed each day between Thursday and Saturday.

There are currently 1,571 people with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals, including 394 people in ICUs.

The province confirmed 24 more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 5,433.

There are currently 248 long-term care home in Ontario reporting a COVID-19 outbreak. This includes 1,615 active resident cases and 1,272 active staff cases.

With Ontario’s stay-at-home order in place, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said that in order for these lockdown restrictions to be eliminated cases in the province need to be reduced to 1,000 or fewer a day. The last time Ontario saw case that low was the end of October.

Dr. Williams said there needs to be fewer than 150 COVID-19 patient in hospital intensive care units.

Councillor Joe Cressy, chair of the Toronto Board of Health, called the COVID-19 situation in the city “dire,” with both new cases and hospitalizations on the rise. The expectation is that ICU capacity will be exceeded before the end of the month.

Following the announcement from the federal government last week that Canada will see a temporary delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveries, Toronto is expected to see a 20 to 80 per cent decrease for the next four weeks. Cressy stressed the importance of following all the public health rules, particularly when vaccine administration will be slowed.

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